“God thunders wondrously with his voice;
he does great things that we cannot comprehend.
For to the snow he says, ‘Fall on the earth,’
likewise to the downpour, his mighty downpour.
From its chamber comes the whirlwind,
and cold from the scattering winds.
By the breath of God ice is given,
and the broad waters are frozen fast.
He loads the thick cloud with moisture;
the clouds scatter his lightning.
They turn around and around by his guidance,
to accomplish all that he commands them
on the face of the habitable world.
Whether for correction or for his land
or for love, he causes it to happen. ” Job 37:5-6,9-13
“The Lord is slow to anger and great in power,
and the Lord will by no means clear the guilty.
His way is in whirlwind and storm,
and the clouds are the dust of his feet.
The Lord is good,
a stronghold in the day of trouble;
he knows those who take refuge in him.” Nahum 1:3,7
A storm brewed heavy and strong, and after turning midday to ominous dusk, thrashed its whirlwind torrentially across our view, lashing at trees, whipping rain, tearing huge branches from their trunks. God thunders.
God is a God of peace. He gives comfort and rest. But to think ‘easy street’ is the constant theme of the Christian life is to have a short-sighted view of how Mighty God works. His way is in the whirlwind. Whether for correction or for his land or for love, he causes it to happen. Sometimes His cause is manifold; we can always trust it to be good. From the place of trouble we know His very present help. From the storm, He speaks, and His word goes forth to accomplish His meaningful purposes. (Job 38:1; Psalm 46:1; Isaiah 55:10-11)
He who separated waters from waters and earth from sky; He who caused the fountains of the deep to burst forth and opened the heavens to forty days of rain to flood the earth; He who parted the Red Sea so His nation could walk through it, and held back the rushing waters of the Jordan so His people could cross; He who split open the earth to swallow rebellious Korah and his family, He moves in the whirlwind. He has every right and all power to reveal His providence and work His divine charm in the midst of upheaval and stormy trial. (Genesis 1:6-10; 7:11-12; Exodus 14:16-22; Numbers 16:31-34; Joshua 3:14-17)
This God shakes off branches we have allowed to rot in self-indulgence and idolatry, and cracks off others in full fruition to reveal our true first love and how masterfully He heals and comforts. He halts the power sources we rely on– the economy, man-made light, adrenaline from busyness– to remind us Who really fuels our lives. His storms wash clean the grey fog in our thinking, the foreign affections that nestle in our hearts, the clouds of rebellion or independence that envelop our will. Would we not welcome God’s tempest if we understood its end?
Father, disentangle me from fearing the storm and resisting Your way in the whirlwind. Turn my penchant to complain or fret to expect lasting good, and give thanks for what I cannot yet see.